For some reason, I’ve been thinking a lot about accessories this week, especially about shiny, sparkly, pretty accessories like jewelry!

I once had a beautiful emerald ring that was given to me by my mother. After the fire, it wasn’t where it should’ve been, and I can’t remember whether I gave it to mom for safekeeping or whether it was with me (and thus is now lost). Either way, I positively ADORED that ring!

Traditionally, emeralds are sacred to Aphrodite/Venus, goddess of love and beauty. Rings are historically considered a “binding” piece of jewelry. So old wives’ tales say that wearing an emerald ring places a “glamour” on a woman – makes her beautiful and lovely.

I don’t know if that’s entirely true, but I’ve been looking at emerald rings lately and missing the one I lost. And I’ve been looking at the PRICES of new emerald rings and despairing!

But I’ve found a way to get a pretty emerald ring without paying a premium price.

Let’s start at the top:

This ring is beautiful! It actually reminds me a lot of the ring I used to have. I love using an emerald cut on emeralds; it just seems to fit in my mind! My old ring was gold instead of silver, but there’s a lot of similarity here. What I DON’T like about it is the price! The regular price is $1,559, although it is on sale for $599, so it’s a great deal for what it is. It’s 14K white gold and over 2 carats of total gem weight. Clarity and quality on the emerald and the (real!) diamonds is amazing! So if you want a top-quality emerald ring, this is a great option.

Stepping down just a hair but keeping the design similar, we find this beautiful ring. The stones are smaller (0.65 carat total gem weight) and it’s made of 10K white gold instead of 14K. The clarity and quality on the stones is also a bit lower, but at $399, it’s a good money-saving option that still gives you the look of the more expensive ring.

Finally, this ring is an excellent budget option, and it looks phenomenal! So what makes this such a great deal? First, it’s 925 Sterling Silver instead of gold. Second, it uses white sapphires rather than diamonds. And third, it uses a lab-created emerald instead of a naturally-occurring one. This ring is only $71, so it’s much more affordable than the other two options.

So what does this mean? Only that all fashion purchases require balancing quality and price. If you want an investment piece, you’ll obviously be looking for real gold (and lots of it!) and real diamonds of the highest quality. But if you want a beautiful ring, you can often find it much more affordably if you’re willing to make a few compromises.